Police in London were shocked to find four rare crocodiles in the spare bedroom of a house in London.
The dangerous reptiles were found by chance by police officers at a semi-detached house in Croydon.
The officers, who were there on an unrelated matter, called in wildlife officials who had the West African dwarf crocodiles seized, reports the Croydon Guardian.
Rob Quest, manager of the London Animal Health Service, said: "We were very surprised to get the phone call and to discover there were West African Dwarf Crocodiles.
"We have collected caiman crocodiles before, which come from South America, but they are in trade whereas the African dwarf crocodiles are protected and are much harder to get hold of.
"I wouldn't even begin to guess how they got into the country. Because of their size they will not kill a man but they are capable of a nasty bite.
"They have a twisting action when they bite down on something so could take big chunks of flesh out of you and a reasonable-sized dwarf crocodile could have your arm off."
Three of the females measured 3ft and were found living in cramped and dirty pond liners in an upstairs bedroom.
The largest one, which measured more than 4ft, was in such a bad condition, it died soon after being transferred.
The owner of the protected animals did not have a licence for them and is expected to be charged under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.